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Central-American Cultural Center

Dallas, Texas

1 A Study of a Distinctive Culture and the Integration of its Cultural Elements through Contemporary Measures Central-American Cultural Center By Martin Eliseo Aguirre A Thesis In Architecture Submitted to the Architecture Faculty of the College of Architecture Of Texas Tech University in Partial Fulfillment for the Degree of MASTERS OF ARCHITECTURE ________________________________________________ Professor Michael Peters Chairman of the Committee ________________________________________________ Professor Ben Shacklette Thesis Advisor _________________________________________________ Research Schematics Instructor Accepted ______________________________________ Andrew Vernooy Dean, College of Architecture ______________________________________ Date


t avbel er voife cwo n t e n t s o

3 overview 01

17 35

Overview List of Illustrations 05 Theory 07 Facility 09 Spatial Requirements 10 Context 12 Design Response 14 Preface 15 Acknowledgements 16 Abstract Statements Theory 18 25 26 27 28 30 31 34

Supporting Basis Forms Colors Plazas/Courtyards Architectural Issues Precedent 1 Precedent 2 Bibliography



Epistemology/Goals and Objectives


48 59

38 39 41 42 44 47

Mission Statement Facility Issues Facility Organization and Layout Precedent 1 Precedent 2 Bibliography

Spatial Requirements 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

Auditorium Lobby Community Room/ Class Room Joint-Retail Restaurant Administrative Offices General Storage Mechanical Room Net and Gross Square Footage Bibliography

Context 60 62 63 66 70

Introduction/Site Demographics Site Analysis Neighboring Structures Climate

4 overview 82

71 AverageTemperatures/ Rainfall 72 Sun Position Analysis 73 Wind Analysis 74 Issues 77 Precedent 1 79 Precedent 2 81 Bibliography Design Process 83 84 88 90 93 97 99 100 101 102 103 108

Early Stage Concepts Schematic Review Qualifying Review Final Presentation Final Presentation - Plans Final Presentation - Elevations Final Presentation - Sections Final Presentation - Wall Sections Final Presentation - Wall Diagram Final Presentation - Fly Over Final Presentation - Renderings Final Presentation - Physical Model


5 overview

Theory Figure 1.1

Streets of urban Central-America, Photograph by Author.


Arch Elements on Cathedral, Photograph by Author.


Typical Architecture of Small Central-American Villages, Photograph by Author.


Cultural Identity of Guatemala, Google Images Guatemala Church.


Landscape of the village of San Felipe, Photograph by Author.


Simple tectonics of Central-American home, Photograph by Author.


Details of materials and tectonics, Photograph by Author.


The National Theatre of El Salvador, Photograph by Author.


Outdoor Mall in Central-America, Photograph by Author.

1.10 Dell Headquarters in San Salvador, El Salvador, Photograph by Author. 1.11 Cinemark Theatres in Central-America, Photograph by Author. 1.12 Columns and Arcade, Photograph by Author. 1.13 Arches and Campanille, Photograph by Author. 1.14 Arches and Campanille, Photograph by Author. 1.15 Legoretta Colors, Asensio, 35. 1.16 Barragan Colors, Pauly, 142. 1.17 Barragan Colors, Pauly, 142. 1.18 Colors of Outdoor Mall, Photograph by Author. 1.19 Plaza in San Miguel, El Salvador, Photograph by Author.

list of illustrations

6 overview

Theory Figure

1.20 Courtyard in Antigua, Guatemala, Google Images Guatemala Courtyard. 1.21 Plaza Independencia in Honduras, Google Images Honduras Plaza. 1.22 Diagram: Traditional to Contemporary. 1.23 Diagram: Intersection of Arches and Glass. . 1.24 Diagram: Disjunction of Plaza 1.25 Diagram: Interior Courtyars as Gallery Space 1.26 Diagram: Main Plaza for Festivities 1.27 MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico, Google Images MARCO 1.28 MARCO, Interior Courtyard, Google Images MARCO 1.29 MARCO, Ground Level, Futagawa, 69. 1.30 MARCO, Second Level, Futagawa, 69. 1.31 MARCO, Gallery Space, Google Images MARCO Gallery Space 1.32 MARCO, Flooding of Interior Courtyard, Futagawa, 82. 1.33 JMTCC, New Caledonia, Google Images Tjibauo Center 1.34 JMTCC, ‘The Great House’, Google Images Tjibauo Center 1.35 JMTCC, Main Entrance, Google Images Tjibauo Center 1.36 JMTCC in response to context, Faivre. 1.37 ‘Hut Section, Faivre. 1.38 Construction detail in response to Sunlight

list of illustrations

7 overview

Facility Figure 2.1

Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas, Photograph by Author


Boy celebrating the Salvadoran Independence Day


Restaurant, Cafe, Google Images Restaurants


UCSF Community Center Lobby, Legoretta


Diagram: Hierarchy in massing of spaces


Diagram: Placement of Spaces


Diagram: Application of galleries by floor


Diagram: Lobby access to main spaces


Diagram: Link through plaza into main building

2.10 Diagram: Circulation through gallery spaces 2.10.1Diagram: Ramps leading through galleries 2.11 Diagram: Direct and Indirect lighting, Skylighting 2.12 Diagram: Natural Lighting of spaces 2.13 Diagram: Organization and Lyout of Facility 2.14 MACC, Austin, Texas, MACC Website 2.15 MACC, Overall Facility Design, MACC Website 2.16 MACC, Detail of Exterior connection, Google Images MACC 2.17 Drawing: MACC, Phase 1, MACC Website 2.18 Drawing: MACC, Phase 2, MACC Website 2.19 Drawing: MACC, Phase 3, MACC Website

list of illustrations

8 overview

Facility Figure

2.20 Water Feature, Photograph by Author 2.21 DLCC Portico Entry, Photograph by Author 2.22 Lobby for Theatre, Photograph by Author 2.23 Art Gallery Space, Photograph by Author 2.24 Iconic Tower, Photograph by Author 2.25 Portico access to building 2.26 Theatre/Performance Hall, Legoretta+Legorretta Website 2.27 Interior Lounge between Galleries, Photograph by Author

list of illustrations

9 overview

Spatial Requirements Figure 3.1

Diagram: Seating and Stage Configuration


Diagram:Slope and Ceiling Configuration


Diagram: Lobby Access into Spaces


Diagram: Entry into Lobby through portico


Diagram: Portico Configuration into Lobby


Diagram: Room with Mulitple Functionalities


Diagram: Joint Retail inside the Center


Diagram: Joint Retail Layout


Diagram: Restaurant Dining Configuration

3.10 Diagram: Restaurant Layout 3.11 Diagram: Offices in second level for Security

list of illustrations

10 overview

Context Figure 4.1

Dallas Skyline, Google Images, Dallas


Aerial Coverage of proposed site, Maps.Live


Bachman Lake, Bachman Lake Foundation


Dallas Lovefield Airport, Wikipedia, Love Field


Drawing: Context and Future site of CACC


Drawing: Topography and site drainage


Drawing: Noise, traffic, and views


South Side of site, Photograph by Author


West Side of site, Photograph by Author


North Side of sIte, Photograph by Author

4.11 North Side of sIte, Photograph by Author 4.12 East Side of sIte, Photograph by Author 4.13 Rainy day in Dallas, Google Images, Dallas 4.14 Sunny day in Dallas, Google Images, Dallas 4.15 Spring in Dallas, Google Images, Dallas Climate 4.16 Diagram: Average Temperatures 4.17 Diagram: Average Rainfall 4.18 Diagram: Sun Analysis 4.19 Diagram: Wind Analysis 4.20 Diagram: Linear water element linked to lake

list of illustrations

11 overview

Context Figure

4.21 Diagram: Trail element complimenting slope of site 4.22 Diagram: Direct landscaping linkage to CACC 4.23 Diagram: Sun Shading Devices 4.24 Diagram: South Wind ventilation 4.25 Diagram: Overhead floor ventilation through galleries 4.26 Vashem Response to site, Dean, 112. 4.27 Tunnel through site, Dean, 114 4.28 Museum Level, Dean, 117. 4.29 Site Plan, Dean, 113. 4.30 Section through Hillside and galleries, Dean, 117. 4.31 End of Tunnel, Dean, 115 4.32 Beginning of Tunnel, Dean, 116 4.33 The Hall of Names, Dean, 118. 4.34 Tunnel Skylight, Dean, 119. 4.35 Legorreta Sketch, Mutlow, 103. 4.36 Pershing Square Pebble Pool, Mutlow, 96. 4.37 Legorreta Square Sketch, Mutlow, 103. 4.38 Legorreta Square Sketch, Mutlow, 102. 4.39 Site Plan, Mutlow, 102. 4.40 Pershing Square vegetation side, Google Images, Pershing Square

list of illustrations

4.41 Pershing Plaza, Google Images, Plaza

12 overview

Design Process Figure 5.1

Diagram: Map of Central America


Drawing: Scheme 1 Abstraction


Drawing: Scheme 2 Abstraction


Drawing: Scheme 3 Abstraction


Conceptual Scheme 1


Conceptual Scheme 2


Conceptual Scheme 3


Qualifying Review Plaza Approach


Qualifying Review Courtyard

5.10 Qualifying Review Gallery Step-down 5.11 Sketch: Parti- Diagram 5.12 Sketch: Space Articulation 5.13 Sketch: Space Articulation 5.14 Sketch: Axial Articulation 5.15 Sketch: Axial/Space Articulation 5.16 Sketch: Conceptual Plan 5.17 Drawing: Wall Sections 5.18 Diagram: Wall Configuration 5.19 CACC Main Plaza 5.20 CACC Main Lobby

list of illustrations

13 overview

Design Process Figure

5.21 CACC Country Gallery 5.22 CACC Terraced Courtyard 5.23 CACC Central Courtyard 5.24 Physical Model Overall Building 5.25 Physical Mode Linear Element towards Courtyard 5.26 Physical Mode Central Courtyard 5.27 Physical Mode Overall Building looking Northeast 5.28 Physical Mode Overall Building looking Northwest

list of illustrations

14 overview

As a person of Central-American decent, I was motivated to represent and cultivate a vision for the Central-American people of Dallas, Texas. Many Central-Americans have immigrated into the United States, leaving behind their distinctive cultures and traditions to live a better life. This thesis project comprehends the notion of leaving everything behind, but feeling a sense of progress. The main purpose of this project is to inform how architecture can represent a distinctive cultural identity through contemporary methods applied to the traditional forms, colors, and materials of the Central-American culture. This lively culture deserves a venue in which to convene and celebrate the cultures who are here to make a difference in the world. The importance of expressing a distinctive cultural identity evolves around the ability to express its traditonal elements. The United States gives influence to the many lives of Central-American people through its freedom and innovative capabilities. The Central-American culture seeks a future of progress, and the Cultural Center will provide the ability to purpose progress into reality through a built form.


15 overview

I want to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost my family for the overwhelming support they have provided since I started my collegiate career. My mother Ana Umanzor especially for fighting hard and never quitting as a single mother of five children. My father Eliseo who looks down on me from heaven paving the road to my success since the day he passed away. Miguel, Sandra, Rina, and Kelly, my brother and sisters who have shared their time and life to support me throughout my school years.

I would like to thank my advisor Ben Shacklette, a person of great knowledge and passion for both architecture and his students. It was a pleasure learning from you the many aspects of the Hispanic culture as well as being involved with architecture in the community. I will never forget your respect and honesty you showed me throughout my years here at Texas Tech. I also want to thank my instructor Michael Peters for the great help and facilitation in the process of my thesis project. You gave me great direction and focus throughout the project. Thank you to everyone for the love and support, Martin Eliseo Aguirre


16 overview

Thesis Statement A distinctive cultural identity can be expressed through an articulate juxtaposition of traditional cultural forms, colors, materials and proportions in combination with innovative contemporary methods, to embody critical regionalism.

Facility Statement This cultural center is proposed to provide a multi-functional facility that will express and integrate the culture of Central America. The center will include the following: a theatre, gallery spaces, a central courtyard, educational rooms, outdoor plaza, a restaurant, and vendor spaces. These functions will work synergistically through cultural elements in efforts to fulfill the cultural center’s mission and goal.

Context Statement The proposed site for the cultural center resides in the vicinity, which is predominantly of Central-American decent. The location is approximately ten miles from downtown Dallas and at a reasonable distance for surrounding communities and cities of the Metroplex. The project site is essential to the revitalization of the Hispanic community’s involvement as well as the physical structure and aesthetics that surround this site.

overview_abstract statements



18 theory The people of Central America have for years come to the United States in search of the ‘American Dream’. The United States is the place of innovation, a future, and of sense of comfort for many Central-Americans. These entities have left behind their culture and traditions in efforts to preserve their families of need. This study argues for the ability to express a cultural identity through its traditional architectural elements in a juxtaposition of innovative contemporary methods offered in modern architecture.

to comprehend our architectural designs that express a given cultural identity and place.

Critical Regionalism has become an important aspect in the field of architecture as perhaps the drive in expressing a context, place, and most importantly a distinctive culture. This theory has given architecture the ability to persuade its users and surrounding communities of implementation of its architectural elements, both physical and psychological. Additionally, this theory depicts the need for taking all traditional aspects of cultures and transform their identity with contemporary methods that will keep its integrity. The prominent voice in this study of culture, regionalism, and critical regionalism in architectural discourse is Kenneth Frampton. Frampton has given the architectural world a direction towards a critical analysis of the local and global (universalization) culture

Kenneth Frampton has given us the “Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance”, in his book, “Towards a Critical Regionalism.” Collectively the six points are as follows:

1. “Culture and Civilization” 2. “The Rise and Fall of the Avant-Garde” 3. “Critical Regionalism and World Culture” 4. “The Resistance of the Place-Form” 5. “Culture Versus Nature” 6. “The Visual Versus the Tactile”

Frampton’s first point of “Culture and Civilization,” addresses the ‘apocalyptic thrust of modernization.” Frampton states:

Figure 1.2 Arch Elements on Cathedral

“…Civilization has been primarily concerned with the instrumental reason, while culture has addressed evolution of its collective psychosocial reality1.”

1 Hal Foster, ed, The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983) pp.16-30.

theory_supporting basis

Figure 1.1 Streets of Urban Central-America

Figure 1.3 Typical Architecture of Small Central-American Villages

19 theory The first point conveys the message of a culture striving for innovation within the culture (Figure 1.4). Traditional forms are to be articulated, though in a matter of an evolution of the traditional. It is the ‘thrust’ in the forms that allows a culture to be conveyed as a notion of change and a notion of an upcoming future for the place and context. Change is a legitimate assumption with the Frampton’s third point, “The Rise and Fall of the Avant-Garde.” Critical regionalism is “also a sort of resignation, a sense of holding operation, a sense of resistance1.” This theory has limited the role of the AvantGarde in efforts to preserve the ideal of what was and will be in today’s cultures. The first point provided a notion for this theory, while this point gave cultures the ability to implement critical regionalism towards a movement that created a universal norm or status quo to follow. While there is change in the future of a distinctive culture, what will constitute change 1 “Regionalism, A Discussion with Kenneth Frampton and Trevor Boddy”, The Fifth Column, 1983, Summer, p. 53.

and what will enhance the traditional? Frampton’s third point, “Critical Regionalism and World Culture,” Frampton states: “The fundamental strategy of Critical Regionalism is to mediate the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a particular place… as a cultural strategy is as much a bearer of world culture as it is a vehicle of universal civilization2.” Inspiration towards an innovation in the architecture of a particular culture can come from any aspect that relates to the specific cultural identity. The inspiration has to relate, comprehend, and most importantly express the uniqueness of the vibrancy of a culture. For example, the design guidance can come from the colors of the Hispanic culture, to the tectonics of structural features the Hispanic culture has to provide.

Figure 1.4 Cultural Identity of Guatemala

Location, Location, Location is the most important rule for many institutions that thrive to impact their localities and allow way for their purpose and their mission. Inspiration 2 Hal Foster, ed, The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983) pp.16-30.

theory_supporting basis contd.

Figure 1.5 Landscape of the village of San Felipe

20 theory will surface, design will follow, and location will define. The fourth point is entitled “The Resistance of the Place-Form,” Frampton clarifies:

“… the provision of a place-form is equally essential to critical practice, inasmuch as a resistant architecture, in an institutional sense, is necessarily dependent on a clearly defined domain1.”

Frampton advises the importance of assuming or selecting the right locale for the ability to allow success in expressing a particular cultural identity. The site, context, and location have to begin aid in the presence of the culture for the community, state, and ultimately the world. The presence of a distinctive culture has to be known and has to impact the users and community.

“...architectural autonomy is embodied in the revealed ligaments of the construction and in the way in which the syntactical form of the structure explicitly resists the action of gravity2.”

Critical Regionalism suggests that design must be careful not to create an architecture purely on scenographic components of the culture (topography, context, climate, and light), but rather create a tectonic that reflects the cultures surroundings (Figure 1.6). The culture identity provides structural elements that give reality to its architecture. For example, the arches are a main structural element of the Central-American culture, and provide aesthetics that reflect with the context and natural light. The last point that Frampton provides, “The Visual Versus the Tactile,” Frampton notes:

After a location has been determined to begin the ‘presence’, the backbone of the cultural has to be considered. That is to say, the structure which will erect a cultural identity must be clearly defined and relational. The fifth point is “Culture Versus Nature: Topography, Context, Climate, Light and Tectonic Form,” Frampton affirms:

“… it is clear that the liberative importance of the tactile resides in the fact that it can only be decoded in terms of experience itself…3” Visual representation can not be established without physical entities. The experience of


2 3

Ibid., 21

Figure 1.6 Simple tectonics of Central-American home

Ibid.,24-25 Ibid., 26-27

theory_supporting basis contd.

Figure 1.7 Details of materials and tectonics

21 theory the architecture elements is more than vision has to offer. The materials and technicalities applied to the architecture elements tell a story and ‘decodes’ what the culture has to offer. Perception cannot be limited to visual articulation but rather be unlimited to what will compose the articulation. The built form has to be interpreted to all sense, if possible, instead of viewpoint terms (Figure 1.7). The Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance, provide meaning to the notion of Critical Regionalism in architecture. It provides a consensus of elements that are to be considered and applied in conjunction with a distinctive culture. The six points act as mediators to pronounce what a culture consists of. In Modern Architecture, Critical Regionalism is presented as seven summarizations:

1. Critical Regionalism has to be understood as a marginal practice, one which, while it is critical of modernization, nonetheless still refuses to abandon the emancipatory and progressive aspects of modern architectural legacy.

2. This ‘place form’ means that the architect must recognize the physical

boundary of his work as a kind of temporal limit…

3. Critical Regionalism favours the realization of architecture as a tectonic fact rather than the reduction of the built environment to a series of illassorted scenographic episodes.

4. …Critical Regionalism is regional to the degree that it invariably stresses certain site-specific factors, ranging from the topography…to the varying play of local light across the structure…

5. Critical Regionalism emphasizes the tactile as much as the visual…

6. … Critical Regionalism will, on occasion, insert reinterpreted vernacular elements as disjunctive episodes within the whole (Figure 1.8).

7. Critical Regionalism…suggests that the received notion of the dominant culture centre surrounded by dependent, dominant satellites is ultimately an inadequate model by which to assess the present state of modern architecture1.


Ibid., 28

theory_supporting basis contd.

Figure 1.8 Vernacular Elements into the whole expression of a culture.

22 theory So how important is it to practice Critical Regionalism? Heidegger spoke of the possibility of an “authentic” existence founded on the temporal idea that we are continually moving from our pasts towards the potential of our futures1. The Central-American Cultural Center is to contain temporal ideas and moving them towards the future. Accepting the traditional elements and aspects that make this culture and setting them forward through innovative measures to create a future for the CentralAmerican community. Not only will the distinctive culture arise from this phenomenon rather than the surroundings, the culture will also seek revitalization and a future. Specific elements of a distinctive culture can be determined and thought of as the elements that represent this entity. They are transcribed into their setting and are realized within a building. Universalization has made such architectural meaning increasingly problematic: On the one hand, traditional form injected into a modern setting by modern means result in mere quaintness. On the other, many modern buildings, constructed for utility and investments, 1 Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture: a Critical History. 3rd ed. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995) pp. 327.

carry only factual or functional meanings2.” What is considered to be the traditional that will represent a culture is to be carefully selected and expressed in order for the architecture to act as a meaningful collaboration of culture and built form (Figure 1.9). This will also suffice even in transcultural settings. It is a fact: every culture cannot sustain and absorb the shock of modern civilization. There is paradox: how to become modern and to return to sources; how to revive and old, dormant civilization and take part in universal civilization3. Reviving a distinctive culture could simply take part in exemplifying the traditional elements. It is the notion of allowing innovation take part in this culture that allows for the ability to transform these sources into modern civilization. Revitalization of a certain element will still maintain its roots and maintain its entity, but it is to contain a new idea within the element to transform itself into an ‘innovative’ ‘traditional’ cultural element (Figure 1.10). 2 Karen C. Spence, The Assumptions Underlying Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism” ACSA BiRegional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, Texas A&M University. Washington, D.C., 1999. 3 Rumiko Handa. Place-Making and the Restoration of a Cultural Identity. ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, (University of Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C., 1999).

theory_supporting basis contd.

Figure 1.9 The National Theatre of El Salvador

Figure 1.10 Outdoor Mall in Central-America

23 theory Juger Habermas states, “The arts and sciences would promote not only the control of natural forces but also understanding of the world and of the self, moral progress, the justice of institutions and even the happiness of human beings1.” A cultural center is to provide all these amenities, in efforts to ‘celebrate’ and promote the culture. There is education to exist within this building, education of every aspect that exemplifies a culture. The facility has to be able to function and allow understanding, and provide the spaces, elements, and aesthetics of an education. Paul Ricoeur clarifies appropriation as, “the interpreter does not seek to rejoin the original intentions of the author, but rather to expand the conscious horizons…by actualizing the meaning of the text2.” In architecture, its elements will become meaningful when the person, the interpreter, is able to realize appropriation through interpretation. What if the ‘interpreter’ is of a different culture or a stranger to the distinctive culture? It is for this reason that a 1 Paul Ricoeur History and Truth. Evanston: Northwestern University, 1965. pp. 271-284. 2 John B. Thomas. Critical Hermeneutics: a Study in the Through of Paul Ricoeur and Jurgen Habermas. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).

new interpretation must be applied to the current interpretation. New functionalities and new aspects to the established interpretation that are known globally, or in this instance nationally, can be made meaningful to a different culture and stranger. Architects who are concerned about the failure of culture should aim not so much to endow their work with meaning but rather to design it in such a way that it will invite interpretations even by the viewers who are culturally detached3. The ability of depicting and expressing a cultural identity is possible with particular elements of a given tradition thriving to reflect on context of today’s world. If we accept symbolism as a specific representation of a culture, then the means to maintain a cultural identity is through the level and extent of symbolism engaged in and practiced within that region4. The region for the cultural center is Central-America which 3 Rumiko Handa. Place-Making and the Restoration of a Cultural Identity. ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, (University of Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C., 1999). 4 Nadia M. Alhasani. Place-Making and the Restoration of a Cultural Identity. ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, (University of Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C., 1999).

theory_supporting basis contd.

Figure 1.11 Dell Headquarters in San Salvador, El Salvador

Figure 1.12 Cinemark Theatres in Central-America

24 theory includes the nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The adoption of these cultures and the adaptation of innovative technologies juxtaposed in a setting that consist of these cultures, will create a the notion of ‘place-making.’ “The advancement of mankind is portrayed through the advancement of technology as applied within a culture; where culture is conceived as “a general process of intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic development;” an abstract notion belonging to a society that provides it with an association and identity. Technology then is “a system of all production;” a crucial implementation of technics, techniques, and theories that release mankind from the bondage of labor, in order to free one for higher activities. Consequently, the utilization of universal technologies becomes an indispensable element towards progress and achievement; and culture, a necessary means of formulation and recognitions1.” It is important to understand that the culture identity will compliment the 1


technologies used in efforts to create a perception of cultural visions, beliefs, aspirations, and pride. Architecture, as one form of representation of the integration of culture and technology, is an exceptional vehicle to investigate the end result of this coming together. Architecture is among those artifacts that are strongly embedded in and formulated by its particular culture and yet exposed to technology at large2. A building carries a messages, symbols, and ideas through its architectural elements coinciding with the cultural. The spaces contain a spirituality of what it has been to what it will be. Progress can not only been seen, but it should be portrayed physically to show its existence.

Wahed El-Wakil believes that “change is intrinsic to all living organisms and institutions; but the anchor of change is continuity safeguard by tradition. Without this safeguard change becomes not part of a cyclic progression, but a kind of centrifugal violence that disrupts and fragments the arts, and non more than architecture4.” Technology allows for rational changes of these traditional forms to create a vision of the community that re-establishment of the traditional results in change.

The search for a material condition is hindered by the need to be noticed, the want to be distinguished, and the desire to be acknowledged3. Traditional aspects will be acceptable in a setting which also envisions innovation and revitalization, but the originality is also important to establish a history and a past. The internationally known architect Abdul2 3

Ibid. Ibid.

theory_supporting basis contd.


“The Great Mosque.” Architectural Review. Mar. 1995: 68-69.

25 theory Latin Architecture Forms Arches Arcades Columns Campanile

Figure 1.12 Columns and Arcade


Figure 1.13 Arches and Campanille

Figure 1.14 Arches and Campanille

26 theory Latin Architecture Colors

Figure 1.15 Legoretta Colors


Figure 1.16 Barragan Colors

Figure 1.17 Barrgan Colors

Figure 1.18 Colors of Central American Outdoor Mall

27 theory Latin Architecture Plazas/Courtyards

Figure 1.19 Plaza in San Miguel, El Salvador

Figure 1.20 Courtyard in Antigua, Guatemala

plazas & courtyards

Figure 1.21 Plaza Independencia in Honduras

28 theory




Diagram 1.22 Traditional to Contemporary

Goal: The Central-American Cultural Center should promote traditional forms, colors, materials, and proportions and new innovative technologies. Performance Requirement: Juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary built form and spaces.

Potential Design Response Create disjunctive elements of each of the vernacular elements (arch, arcade, campanille, and columns) which will then be located in the exterior facades and interior spaces. Potential Design Response Disjunction of typical square plaza by deconstructing the shape.

Performance Requirement: Introduce innovative technologies in both built form and spaces.

Potential Design Response Compliment traditional with contemporary methods by creating a arcade facade intersected in glass material. Potential Design Response Introduce shading and screening devices, which traditional elements do not incorporate.


Diagram 1.23 Disjunction of Plaza


Diagram 1.24 Intersection of Arches and Glass

architectural issue_reinterpretation

29 theory

Comprehension Goal: The Central-American Cultural Center should reflect the traditions and meaning of its culture.

Performance Requirement: Express the Central-American Heritage through its cultural elements.

Potential Design Response: Provide one main plaza and one outdoor central courtyard that will hold celebrations, festivites and functions of the Central-American Culture. Potential Design Response: Incorporate interior courtyards with arcades for display of the cultures arts, history, people in the gallery buildings. Performance Requirement: Orient galleries in response to the lake and direction of Central America. (Pyschological aspect of building.)

INTERIOR COURTYARD Diagram 1.25 Interior Courtyard as Gallery Space


Potential Design Response: Orient the galleries to face Southeast to remind visitors where Central- Americans in America once lived. Potential Design Response: STAGE Incorporate views towards Bachman Lake to illustrate the water that surrounds Central- America. Diagram 1.26 Main Plaza for Festivities

architectural issue_comprehension

30 theory

MARCO Museum of Contemporary Art Monterry, Mexico Legoretta+Legoretta Architects In efforts to revitalize Monterrey, Mexico and dispell its reputation of a city which is not beautiful, Legoretta introduced a Museum that would enhance the culture of the city. Monterrey was in need of more art and culture to express the inner beauty that this city had to provide. The museum was not just a center, but rather a center for concerts, lectures, and other social events. Legoretta stated, “Cultural buildings should be spaces for the social life of the city1.� This allows for a building to reflect on the culture and understandings of a particular place which is ecstatic of their own surroundings and beliefs. The building was to influence a strong and positive image of the Mexican art. The main entry of the facility is through a plaza and then into the main lobby

where you are greeted by a vestibule with an amazing height, color, and light demonstration. Through these doors you can access the auditorium, cafeteria and store. The plan of the museum reflects that of a traditional Mexican home. The central courtyard consists of a series of arcades which feed into access to the art galleries. This courtyard also acts as a place for gatherings and dining services (Figure 1.28). The art galleries are all different through different proportions, forms, colors, and heights. Natural light is also provided differently for each gallery through different window locales allowing the user to experience what is also outside the facility.

Figure 1.27 MARCO, Monterry, Mexico


Yukio Futagawa, ed. GA Document: Ricardo Legorreta. Vol. 14. (Tokyo: A.D.A Edita, 2000) .

theory_architectural precedent

Figure 1.28 MARCO, Interior Courtyard

31 theory

MARCO Museum of Contemporary Art

Figure 1.29 MARCO, Ground Level

Figure 1.31 Gallery Space

Figure 1.30 MARCO, Second Level

Figure 1.32 Flooding of Interior Courtyard

theory_architectural precedent contd.

32 theory Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center Nouméa, New Caledonia Architect Renzo Piano The cultural center in New Caledonia is devoted to the memory of the political leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou. The major challenge behind this project was the task of paying homage to a culture while also respecting its traditions and history, past, present and future, as well as its sensitivities1. The comprehension of the Kanak culture was vital in representing a culture through the traditions of the people as well as the history and, environment, and beliefs. Renzo Piano adopted a juxtaposition of the Caledonian ‘huts’ construction, technology, and materials with European technology and expertise. Piano created a new synthesis between local and global, tradition and modernity2. Along with the representation of local materials and construction, played the role of respecting and drawing on natural elements which include: wind, light, and vegetation. Consequently, the huts are shaped in such 1 Liane Lefaivre, and Alexander Tzonis. Critical Regionalism. (New York: Prestel, 2003). 2 Ibid.

a way as to catch and temper the strong tropical winds that blow through the islands. Their double layered skin- Orinoco wood on the outside and glazed surface on the inside-optimizes the circulation of air while minimizing exposure to the hot sun in an energy-saving manner in this tropical climate3.The JMTCC is configured of ten ‘huts’ which reflect that of the huts produced and used by the Kanak culture. The huts differ in size for its different functionalities and themes laid out like a village (Figure 1.33). The centre houses many functions which include: permanent or temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, an amphitheatre, research areas, a conference room, a library, and studios for music, dance, and painting.

Figure 1.33 JMTCC, New Caledonia

Figure 1.34 JMTCC, ‘The Great House”



theory_architectural precedent

33 theory Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center

Figure 1.35 JMTCC, Main Entrance

Figure 1.37 ‘Hut’ Section

Figure 1.36 JMTCC in response to context

Figure 1.38 Construction detail in response to Sunlight

theory_architectural precedent contd.

34 theory Asensio, Paco, ed. Legorreta+Legorreta. New York: TeNeues, 2002. Alhasani, Nadia M. Place-Making and the Restoration of a Cultural Identity. ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, University of Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C., 1999. Foster, Hal, ed. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Seattle: Bay Press, 1983. pp.16-30. Frampton, Kenneth. Modern Architecture: a Critical History. 3rd ed. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995. pp. 327. Futagawa, Yukio, ed. GA Document: Ricardo Legorreta. Vol. 14. Tokyo: A.D.A Edita, 2000. Handa, Rumiko. Place-Making and the Restoration of a Cultural Identity. ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, University of Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C., 1999. Habermas, Jurgen. “”Modernity: An Incomplete Project,” in Anti-Aesthetic. ed. Hal Foster. Seattle: Bay Press, 1983. Lefaivre, Liane, and Alexander Tzonis. Critical Regionalism. New York: Prestel, 2003. Ricoeur, Paul. History and Truth. Evanston: Northwestern University, 1965. pp. 271-284. Spence, Karen C. The Assumptions Underlying Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism” ACSA Bi-Regional Annual Conference, Nov. 1995, Texas A&M University. Washington, D.C., 1999. “The Great Mosque.” Architectural Review Mar. 1995: 68-69. Thompson, John B. Critical Hermeneutics: a Study in the Through of Paul Ricoeur and Jurgen Habermas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. “Regionalism, A Discussion with Kenneth Frampton and Trevor Boddy”, The Fifth Column, 1983, Summer, p. 53.




36 facility research Currently, in Dallas, which is a city that has a great amount of Central-Americans, there is no facility which exemplifies and unites the Central-American culture. Emphasis on a facility that incorporates a distinctive culture will provide unique possibilities for a certain population of Latin Americans. This facility type allows the essence of integration of a distinctive culture. The purpose of the cultural center brings this population together with similar interests and backgrounds. The scope of the cultural center will provide spaces and activities to accommodate the numerous cultural, recreational, and social activities of the Central-American people. While the center provides functions for a distinct culture, it will also allow everyone from different cultures to learn the difference in cultures that reside within their communities. While there are not any centers for the Central-American community, there is the Latino Cultural Center in the arts district of downtown Dallas (Figure 2.1). The Latino Cultural Center was design by Ricardo Legoretta and provides an ecstatic approach to the Latin community. The Central-American Cultural Center will have an emphasis on gallery space to house

and showcase the arts and history of the countries of Central-America. The center will reflect that of a museum as it will allow visitors to take part in what the culture has to offer. The countries include: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama. A gallery space and floor will be dedicated to each country to provide sufficient space to represent the country. Another space vital to the center is the theatre/auditorium. This is an important space for performances and viewing of films respective of the Central-American community. Theatre typically require much more space than most spaces in the building, therefore, it will ensue emphasis throughout the facility. It is important to provide sufficient space due to the numerous activities and functions that happen indoors attracting many users. While users utilize the performance theatre, outdoors events will also require a space to gather and celebrate (Figure 2.2). Courtyards and plazas will important for the center as these spaces will provide a venue for events to take place outdoors. Many festivals and celebrations such as independence days

e p i s t e m o l o g y, g o a l s a n d o b j e c t i v e s

Figure 2.1 Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas

Figure 2.2 Boy celebrating the Salvadoran Independence Day.

37 facility research and annual functions are part of the culture of Central-America. These outdoor spaces will also function as a safe place to relax and for the community to enjoy the climate Dallas has to offer. Landscaping and water features throughout the plaza and courtyard will add aesthetic pleasure and compliment Bachman Lake which is directly across from the site. This entity will be a public face for the center to welcome and orient visitors. Another great offering of the CentralAmerican culture is the delicious food. The CACC will house a restaurant/café for the users to experience the exquisite taste of the variety of foods. With this feature installed in the center, it will generate more visitors as well as economic gains for the cultural center (Figure 2.3). In addition to the restaurant, the center will contain a conference/community room that could be converted into a dining service. The restaurant will be accessible as a catering service for any dining events held at the conference room. The conference/ community room will serve as a space for community events such as district meetings, health screenings, speeches, Latin culture conferences, and other functions.

to the center as they will be utilized by the people who will maintain the success of the CACC. The design will be responsible for providing a quality workspace which will integrate technology, comfort and safety, and energy efficient measures. Finally, the center is to accommodate and welcome visitors and users through the first space they will encounter which is the lobby (Figure 2.4). It will be grand, spacious, and will include foyers, entries to halls, and security screenings for the safety of the visitor. It is key to create this space with great character and function as it is the most influential space for the visitor’s first impression of the center.

Figure 2.3 Restaurant/Cafe

“Community facilities.... are the knots that tie together the fabric of our towns and cities. They enrich the quality of life for individuals to an extent that can only be attained through collective organization1.”

1 Charles Linn. “Community Buildings Coping with Cultural Change,” Architectural Record. 1996, June, p.66-78.

The administrative offices are also important

e p i s t e m o l o g y, g o a l s a n d o b j e c t i v e s

Figure 2.4 UCSF Community Center Lobby

38 facility research

Mission Statement The Vision of the Central-American Cultural Center is to provide artists, cultural organizations and the Central-American community with a venue to develop and celebrate the Central-American innovation in culture and art. It is a center composed of a juxtaposition of traditional forms and contemporary measures, for educating all cultures of the history and traditions of Central-America.

facility synthesis_mission statement

39 facility research 2 1


Flexibility Goal: All spaces of the facility should be adaptable to the multi-use of the building.

Performance Requirement: Differentiate the magnitude of spaces by the application of scale, placement, and hierarchy.

Diagram 2.5 Heirarchy in massing of spaces


Potential Design Response: Locate the main lobby in front of the galleries and central courtyard which will create a 1-2-1 configuration for heirarchy.



Potential Design Response: Configure the main spaces of the building sequentially with the lobby for flexible accessibility. GALLERIES










Diagram 2.7 Application of galleries


Diagram 2.6 Placement of spaces

40 facility research




Circulation Goal: Circulation should organize the facility to draw users and employees satisfactorily through the facility. Performance Requirement: Create transitional components such as corridors and access points in conjunction to the gallery spaces.





Diagram 2.8 Lobby access to main spaces

Potential Design Response Organize gallery spaces and corridors to have a smooth transition and constant moving.

Performance Requirement: Create a direct link from the outdoor spaces to the facility. Potential Design Response Apply landscaping features that direct traffic into building from the different outdoor spaces.

Diagram 2.9 Link through plaza into main building


Diagram 2.10. Circulation through gallery spaces

facility_issues contd.

41 facility research

Lighting Goal: The center is to provide sufficient lighting both naturally and artificially for all spaces, most importantly for the galleries. Performance Requirement: Provide natural lighting by orienting main spaces accordingly to the sunlight.

Potential Design Response Incorporate ceiling openings to bring in direct sunlight into the main spaces of the building.

Potential Design Response Incorporate wall openings with an round or squared arcade to bring in natural light as well as keep integrity of the cultural elements. Performance Requirement: Provide artificial lighting by applying lighting systems for galleries and main spaces. Potential Design Response Install both direct and indirect lighting respective to the space and art displayed.

Diagram 2.11 Direct and Indirect lighting, Skylighting

Diagram 2.12 Natural lighting of spaces

facility_issues contd.

42 facility research









THEATRE Diagram 2.13 Organization and Layout of facility

facility organization and layout

43 facility research Mexican American Cultural Center

of the offices and classrooms and a large 800 seat theatre (Figure 2.15).

Austin, Texas, USA Casabella Architects The Mexican American Cultural Center applies preservation, creation, presentation, and promotion of Mexican American cultural arts and heritage. The center is now an entity that represents the culture of the Mexican American community. The community can use this facility as a resource for the education and appreciation cultures within the Latino world (Figure 2.14). The programs and educational curriculum include areas of visual art, theatre, dance, literature, music, multi-media and the culinary arts. The MACC is a 126,000 square foot facility designed for construction in three phases. Phase 1 included most of the facility with an outdoor plaza, a two-story structure to house offices with classrooms and meetings rooms. An extension to the multi-purpose building was later designed and completed in this second phase which included a small 300 seat theatre and a gallery space. Phase 3 consisted of another extension

Figure 2.14 MACC, Austin, Texas.

Figure 2.15. MACC, Overall facility design.

Figure 2.16. MACC, Detail of exterior connection.

facility_architectural precedent

44 facility research

Drawing 2.17 MACC Phase 1

Drawing 2.18 MACC Phase 2

facility_architectural precedent contd.

Drawing 2.19 MACC Phase 3

45 facility research Dallas Latino Cultural Center Dallas, Texas, USA Legorreta+Legorretta Architects The Latino Cultural Center of Dallas gives the community an extensive facility to develop and celebrate the Latino culture and art. In a city in which the Hispanic population is fast growing in size, the center is a venue for the local artists and cultural organizations around the Dallas area to convene and express their heritage. Legorreta has created an epic facility with tradition forms and two main colors that represents the life of the Latino people. The facility is 49,000 square feet which was constructed in two phases. The center houses several gallery spaces for the art and outdoor spaces as sculpture gardens. The gallery space introduces enough light to provide lighting for the art in the galleries (Figure 2.23). In efforts to promote the Latino heritage, the center offers a multi-purpose room which is used for literary readings, workshops, lectures, and meetings. The main feature of the facility is the astounding 300-seat theatre which holds cultural

performances and showcases historic and recent Hispanic films (Figure 2.26). Another great feature of the facility is the iconic tower which highlights the main entry to the cultural center (Figure 2.24). It is a purple stepping tower towards the sky identifying its infinite progress of the Hispanic culture. Adjacent to the tower is an open space and plaza which holds cultural events and festivities. Here you see the strong angled mass that houses the theatre once again aiming towards the sky. To add exquisite detail to this mass, is a water feature trickling down the edge into another water feature next to the outdoor space (Figure 2.20). When empty and quiet around this area, you hear the amazing single sound of this water feature giving it life to the facility. The main traditional element the facility provides is the exterior arcade portico leading to all main spaces of the facility(Figure 2.21). In the entrance into the main building that houses the theatre is an amazing space with a dome painted with a color changing sun. Then, it is the lobby or vestibule before the theatre, which maintains its two primary colors of the whole building with a unique ceiling feature (Figure 2.22).

facility_architectural precedent

Figure 2.20 Water Feature

Figure 2.21 DLCC Portico Entry

46 facility research

Figure 2.22 Lobby for Theatre

Figure 2.25 Portico access to building

Figure 2.23 Art Gallery Space

Figure 2.26 Theatre/Performance Hall

facility_architectural precedent contd.

Figure 2.24 Iconic Tower

Figure 2.27 Interior Lounge between Galleries

47 facility research

Linn, Charles. “Community Buildings Coping with Cultural Change,” Architectural Record. 1996, June, p.66-78. “Mexican American Cultural Center.” Parks & Recreation Department. 2001. City of Austin. 18 Feb. 2008 <>. “Centro Cultural Fase 1.” Legorreta+Legorreta. 28 Feb. 2008 <>.




49 spatial requirements Auditorium

The auditorium is intended for the congregation of the community and its users for functions of EXIT the cultural center which calls for a large attendance.



Activity: Cultural performances, community events, theatrical plays, cinematic viewings, lectures Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Sloped Floors- level terraces for each row of seating to provide the proper sightlines to stage. Fixed Seats- articulated back for maximum occupant passage space between rows. Special Lighting- Dramatic lighting systems include front lighting, foot lighting, spot lights,






follow spot lights, beam lights, and flood lights. Occupational Accordance-Occupancy Group Classification is Assembly A1 or A3 as per IBC. Diagram 3.1 Seating and Stage Configuration

30; recommended sound transmission class (STC) rating ranges from STC 40 to STC 50.

for Auditorium spaces are sized and zoned to accommodate varying internal loads, which are a function of audience sizes, performance lighting loads, and projection equipment. Raised Flooring System- HVAC in auditorium spaces is ducted supply through floor vents with ducted ceiling return air vents in auditorium and lobby.

2. Productive Design Response Special Acoustical Design- recommended noise criteria (NC) rating ranges from NC-20 to NC- 3. Sustainable Design Response Increases Cooling Capacity- heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems

4. Secure/ Safe Design Response Fire and Life Safety Systems, ADA Compliant- notification systems, lighting,

and signage are required to facilitate safe and speedy evacuations during an emergency.

spatial requirements_auditorium




Diagram 3.2 Slope and Ceiling Configuration

50 spatial requirements OFFICES



The lobby is to provide the main entrance and access to all functions and spaces of the facility through paths and circulation.


Activity: Main entry, gathering space, accessibility to other functions Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Accommodate Peak Loads- design appropiate size for lobby to hold peak loads Accommodate maximum Pedestrian traffic- apply durable floor finishes. 2. Productive Design Response Dedicated HVAC System- highly efficient system suitable for size of space and occupant load Design for worker/occupant relief- provide confined spaces for rest and comfort. 3. Sustainable Design Response Utilize Daylighting - allow natural light for lobby to minimize electric needs





Diagram 3.3 Lobby access into spaces

Air lock/Vestibules at Entrance- systems should prevent loss of heating/cooling.

4. Secure/ Safe Design Response Control Desk- at front entrance for bag checking, metal detection and sign in Security Personnel Observation- design lobby space for security ability to see everything. 5. Aesthetics Design Response Finishes /Furniture/Signage/Art- incorporate these aesthetic aspects throughout lobby.

Diagram 3.4 Entry into Lobby through portico

Diagram 3.5 Portico Configuration into lobby

spatial requirements_lobby

51 spatial requirements Community Room/ Class Room

The community and classroom is to provide the ability to conduct meetings and or classes as well as dining services. Activity: Conduct meetings, education, dining services


Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Flexibility/ Adaptability- provide modular furniture that is light and easily rearranged, and movable partitions to further subdivide the space. HVAC and Utility Requirements- separate AHU, which requires a 15% increase in cooling

capacity, toilet requirements are to be exceeded to accommodate additional occupancy loads.

screens, and lighting for presentational purposes. Integrated Technology- install audio/visual equipment for full functionality of room.

2. Productive Design Response Finishes and Built-in Conferencing Tools- provide durable marker boards and projections

DINING Diagram 3.6 Room with Multiple functionalitiies

spatial requirements_community room

52 spatial requirements Joint Retail

The retail space is to provide the facility with retail services to promote the cultural center. Activity: Retail services





Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Diagram 3.7 Joint Retail inside the Center Design Response Merchandise Display Systems- provide display systems such as shelving and casework

Occupancy Accordance- occupancy classification for the Joint Use Retail space type is

Mercantile Group M or Business Occupancy B, with sprinkler protected construction and GSA Acoustical Class C1 for enclosed offices.

2. Secure/ Safe Design Response Cashier and Limited Access Areas- spaces to be designated for added secruity. 3. Sustainable Design Response Retail Window Display- install window energy efficient display systems such as neon

enterprise signage and display and decorative lighting. Utilize natural daylighting and ventilation to lower utility costs.

4. Aesthetics Design Response Public Entryway Features- apply and entrances that open directly onto public circulation


spatial requirements_joint retail




Diagram 3.8 Joint Retail Layout


53 spatial requirements Restaurant

The restaurant and cafĂŠ are to provide comfortable and delicate dining services for both the users and employees. Activity: Dining, Convening, Food preparation Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Receiving and Storage Areas- provide dedicated food service docks, general dry goods

Diagram 3.9 Restaurant Dining Configuration

storage, ventilated storage, and refrigerator and freezer storage.

General Support Areas-implement administration and staff areas manager offices, staff

lockers and toilets, staff lounge, and staff dining areas.

Sanitation and HVAC Requirements- must include following areas of specialized equipment:

dish wash, pot wash, garbage disposal, and janitor service. This space type requires a 20% increase in cooling capacity above building shell and core provisions, and a separate air return. Occupancy Accordance- Assembly Occupancy A2, which is to contain a sprinklered protected construction and 2 hr. seperation.

2. Productive Design Response Food Production Areas- install for cooking, baking, and food preparation 3. Aesthetics Design Response Dining Area Amenities- apply aesthetic features and lighting for consumer





comfort and dining experience. Features include but not limited to: high ceilings, natural lighting, contemporary furniture. EMPLOYEES Diagram 3.10 Restaurant Layout

spatial requirements_restaurant/cafe


54 spatial requirements Administrative Offices

Administrative offices are to provide spaces to promote productivity and functionality. Activity: Administrative Functions Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Integrated Technology- implement required technological features such as internet,

phone, and presentational ammenities. Occupancy Accordance- office space type is B2 occupancy classification, with sprinklered construction. Provide a GSA acoustical class of C1 for enclosed offices and Class C2 for open offices.

voice, data, and HVAC) and mobile workstations to accommodate changes in employee, equipment, and storage needs over time.

and also window views.

the application of daylighting; the use of occupancy sensors; and the installation of high-efficiency HVAC equipment.

2. Productive Design Response Flexibility- install raised floor system for the distribution of critical services (power, 3. Secure/Safe Design Response Comfort and Safety- provide increased fresh air ventilation throughout the offices 4. Sustainable Design Response Energy Efficiency- high-efficiency lighting and lighting controls will be installed and

spatial requirements_administrative offices



Diagram 3.11 Offices in second level for security.

55 spatial requirements General Storage

General storage rooms are to provide sufficient space for physical components not in use. Activity: Storage Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Efficient Use of Space- Open space to be maximized while providing adequate circulation

paths for personnel and merchandise handling equipment.

2. Sustainable Design Response Energy Cost Savings- utilize energy efficient lighting and reduce fixtures minimal HVAC.

spatial requirements_general storage

56 spatial requirements Mechanical Room

General storage rooms are to provide sufficient space for physical components not in use. Activity: Storage Performance Requirements: 1. Functional and Operational Design Response Efficient Use of Space- Open space to be maximized while providing adequate circulation

paths for personnel and merchandise handling equipment.

2. Sustainable Design Response Energy Cost Savings- utilize energy efficient lighting and reduce fixtures minimal HVAC.

spatial requirements_mechanical room

57 spatial requirements Sq. Ft. Per Total Sq. space Ft.

Space Indoor Theatre

Occupants 410

# of Spaces



Theatre Vestibule



1 1 1

Administration General Manager



Cultural Program Coordinator




Media Relations and Development Coor.




Events Coordinator




Technical Coordinator




Office Assistant

























Vendor Space Community Room Class Rooms Lobby

5 500








Country Galleries Belize




Costa Rica




El Salvador



























Storage/ Mechanical






Net Total Usable Total SF


Gross Total SF


net/usable/gross square footage



58 spatial requirements

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Design Guidance.â&#x20AC;? Whole Building Design Guide. 2008. National Institute of Building Sciences. 20 Feb. 2008 < design>.




60 contextual research The context of the Central-American Cultural Center is located within the city of Dallas, Texas, the third largest city in the state of Texas (Figure 4.1). Dallas is considered as one of the most Hispanic populated cities in the United States with more than thirty-five percent of the population is of Hispanic or Latino race. Dallas is an ideal city to examine the Central-American community which will benefit in the acceptance and support for the Central-American Cultural Center. The proposed site for the cultural center resides in the vicinity which is predominantly of Central-American decent. The location is approximately ten miles from downtown Dallas and at a reasonable distance for surrounding communities and cities of the Metroplex. The project site is essential to the revitalization of the Hispanic community involvement as well as the physical structure aesthetics which surround this site. The location is configured in a unique block that is framed by three major roads which include: Northwest Highway, Marsh Lane, and Webb Chapel Road (Figure 4.2). Currently, the site is resided by ‘The Village at Bachman Lake’ which contains several small shops and a couple of restaurants.

The biggest tenant is ‘Fallas Paredes’ a local affordable clothing store. The site consists of a vast amount of retail space that has been either abandoned or vacant for many years. The intention is to displace most of the structure that resides in this site to be replaced with the Central-American Center. This community will gain more sense of progress by replacing abandoned structures with a new community center that represents the people of this community. Plazas and outdoor spaces will attract the public revitalizing this area of Dallas, while the cultural center will celebrate a distinctive cultural identity. Accessible to the site is the historic Bachman Lake, a small freshwater lake that is a prime community asset (Figure 4.3). It is a wellmaintained park which provides sailing and fishing with-in the waters to the community. The lake is also surrounded by a 3.3 mile jogging trail suitable for runners and joggers of all ages. Along the South perimeter of the lake, resides the Dallas Love-Field Airport, the secondary airport which serves mainly regional service into Dallas (Figure 4.4). Airplanes fly overhead just west of the site regularly creating a noise issue for the community during peak hours. These two


Figure 4.1 Dallas Skyline (Google Images)

Figure 4.2 Aerial Coverage of proposed site (maps. live)

61 contextual research elements of the site are vital in the appeal and access to the cultural center as it bring many visitors to the vicinity of the site. It is of importance to comprehend the significance of the location as it provides amenities and the appropriate community to service the cultural center. With restaurants and retail businesses surrounding the site, the cultural center will attract attention to the thousands of citizens who access and drive by this site.

Figure 4.3 Bachman Lake (BLF)

Figure 4.4 Dallas Love Field Airport

context_site contd.

62 contextual research Dallas

Dallas County











65.30% 12.80%

Population Race Black




American Indian




















High School Graduates





Bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Degree +





Travel time to work (mins.)





Per Capita Income





Median Income





Persons below Poverty





Wholesale Trade Sales ($1000)





Retail Sales ($1000)






Commute Income


Land Land Area (sq. mile)





Persons per Sq. Mile





Source: (U.S. Census Bureau)


63 contextual research


eb W

Future Dallas Public Library








Future Central-American Cultural Center Site


mm e nu

e Av






ig st H


Bachman Lake

Love Field Airport

context_site analysis

Drawing 4.5 Context and Future site of the CACC

64 contextual research 488



476 476


eb W

Future Dallas Public Library


b ha


Future Central-American Cultural Center Site


pe oa






mm 464

e nu

e Av



458 452









h Hig






458 464


446 458 464 470


Bachman Lake

Love Field Airport 446 452

458 464 470

context_site analysis and topography

N 476

Drawing 4.6 Topography and site drainage.

65 contextual research


target view


eb W

library view

Future Dallas Public Library

Future Central-American Cultural Center Site









mm on


u en Av

noise noise








H est

lake view

air traffic


Bachman Lake

Drawing 4.7 Noise, traffic, and views

air traffic

Love Field Airport

context_noise, traffic, and views


66 contextual research The proposed site for the Central-American Cultural Center is accompanied by structures in all directions. Structures consist of retail, restaurant, mechanical shops, a grocery store, residential homes, and a new public library under construction. The South side of the site consists of three buildings starting with a Walgreens, followed by a Whataburger, and a convenience store at the corner of Northwest Highway and Webb Chapel. This is the busiest intersection adjacent to the site creating heavy traffic during early commute, lunch, and end of work hours.

for the cultural center. The cultural center will be able to compliment the library as well. Also, along the north side of the site is the Walnut Hill Library which was built in 1961 making it one of the oldest libraries in Dallas. Finally, the major structure of the East side of the site is the retail store Target which is accompanied by smaller retail center. Within the site is a Seven-Eleven gas station which I will be displacing.

The West side of the side consists of a restaurant, Taqueria Arandas, a mechanic shop that is out of business at the moment, a small retail center which includes â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;La Mexicanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grocery store. This is a very popular grocery store for the Hispanic community which could bring more of the community into the center. At the North side of the site, there is construction under way for the new Walnut Hill Dallas Public Library. This library is to attract the community to their new facility for library services. The Walnut Hill library will also play a role in the solicitation of visitors

context_neighboring structures

67 contextual research Walgreens


Beverage store

Figure 4.8 South side of site

Mexican Restaurant

Abandoned Mechanical Shop

Figure 4.9 West side of site

context_neighboring structures contd.

Small Retail Center

68 contextual research New Walnut Hill Dallas Public Library

Figure 4.10 North side of site

Dentist Office

Small Service Center

Figure 4.11 North side of site

context_neighboring structures contd.

Old Walnut Hill Dallas Public Library

69 contextual research

Residential Neighborhood

Small Retail/Service Center

4.12 East Side of Site

context_neighboring structures contd.


70 contextual research The city of Dallas consists of a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers, and winters that are for the most part mild to cold. It is a city that typically experiences the four seasons in a year. During extreme summers, the temperature seems to break records every day, claiming 113Ë&#x161; Fahrenheit as the record high, and -2Ë&#x161; Fahrenheit as the all-time low for Dallas, Texas. While the summer season brings in hot temperatures, it also accumulates the most precipitation in the months of June through August with an average of seven to nine inches of precipitation. Spring and autumn bring very pleasant weather to the area and are usually the best times to visit. In the spring months, residents and visitors appreciate the beauty of the vibrant wildflowers (such as the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush and other flora) which bloom in spring and are planted around the highways throughout Dallas.

Figure 4.13 Rainy day in Dallas

Figure 4.14 Sunny day in Dallas

Figure 4.15 Spring in Dallas


71 contextual research

104 86


68 50




The highest temperature for Dallas typically falls in the middle of the summer between July and August, averaging highs in the 90â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.

14 J



A M J J A S Annual Max/Avg/Min Temperature




Diagram 4.16 Average Temperatures 4.9 3.5 2.8 1.8



















Annual Average Rainfall (inches) Diagram 4.17 Average Rainfall

context_average temperatures and rainfall



Precipitation in Dallas is for the most part sporadic, peaking in the month of May, followed by a dry summer.

72 contextual research

Diagram 4.18 Sun Analysis

context_sun position analysis

73 contextual research

Diagram 4.19 Wind Analysis

context_wind analysis

74 contextual research






Performance Requirement: Apply feature that compliments slope of site into plaza.

Potential Design Response Install an aesthetic ramp that leads from main drop off point into the plaza.



Goal: To reflect on the landscape surrounding the site. Performance Requirement: Apply water feature designs which reflects with Bachman Lake. Potential Design Response Provide a linear water element that starts from the plaza and goes Southwest towards the lake.



Diagram 4.20 Linear water element linked to lake VEHICULAR/PEDESTRAIN PATH BUILDING

Diagram 4.21 Trail element complimenting slope of site


75 contextual research

Surrounding Entities Goal: The project should welcome surrounding entities through direct access into Cultural Center.


Performance Requirement: Allow significant connecting elements between the center and the library, residential community, and retail centers.

Potential Design Response Provide four different landscaping direct links (from all directions) into center and/or plaza. Potential Design Response Install sculptures, towers, and/or water elements as direct links (from all directions) into center and/or plaza.

context_issues contd.





Diagram 4.22 Direct landscaping linkage to CACC

76 contextual research SHADING DEVICES



Goal: Respond to the climactic conditions of the site and location through innovative environmental design.

Diagram 4.23 Sun Shading Devices

Performance Requirement: Provide facade systems to accomodate intensive sun.

Potential Design Response Install external translucent shading devices for high sunlight.

Potential Design Response Plant numerous trees on the south side of the building for maximum low sun light.


Performance Requirement: Provide natural ventilation from the South side as it is the prominent wind direction.


Diagram 4.24 South Wind ventilation

Potential Design Response Install main louvres and ventilation windows on the south side of the galleries and theatre for maximum ventilation into entire building.

Diagram 4.25 Overhead floor ventilation through galleries

context_issues contd.

77 contextual research Yad Vashem Musuem Jerusalem, Israel, Moshe Safdie and Associates Architects Moshe Safdie offers a memorial journey through the depths of a Jerusalem hillside with his Yad Vashem history museum1. This Holocaust History Museum occupies over 45 acres of the Mount of Remembrance. The facility emerges both underground and above ground creating strict, but careful transitions throughout the hillside. Also, tunneling through the ground is an extravagant 575-foot long skylight tunnel that emerges into the mountain ridge (Figure 4.27). At the end you are reminded of the beautiful landscape and city of Jerusalem. Branching off this incredible tunnel are the galleries that depict the gruesome history of the Holocaust (Figure 4.32). The uniqueness of spaces with varying heights and different amounts of natural light provide

life into the terrible story of the past. The architect gave the building a triangular section to support the earth above it and rise toward a skylight running its entire length. The museum is buried underground expressing the darkness that the people of the holocaust went through, but there was hope and light. The minimal light that seeps into the galleries and tunnel are enough to light up the spaces and provide the feeling of hope (Figure 4.34). Figure 4.26 Vashem response to site

1 Andrea O. Dean. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.â&#x20AC;? Architectural Record. July 2005, 112-119. Figure 4.27 Tunnel through site

context_architectural precedent

78 contextual research Yad Vashem Musuem

Figure 4.29 Site Plan

Figure 4.28 Museum Level

Figure 4.30 Section through hillside and galleries

Figure 4.31 End of Tunnel

Figure 4.32 Beginning of Tunnel

Figure 4.33 The Hall of Names

context_architectural precedent contd.

Figure 4.34 Tunnel Skylight

79 contextual research Pershing Square Los Angeles, California, USA Legorreta+Legorreta Architects In collaboration with landscape Architect Laurie Olin, both architects’ intentions were to revitalize and nurture a future for the city of Los Angeles. Pershing Square has long been a historic park and square for over 120 years in this city (Figure 4.39). The square was to be preserved as well as interpret the city’s history and culture.

“Architecture should serve, society, creating spaces for people of all races, giving them the pleasure of walking, reading, mediating, and conversing1.”

Water features across the square flow through an aqueduct into a large pool (Figure 4.36). Given an immense site, the architects symmetrically split the site to accommodate two separate plazas (Figure 4.38). One plaza is to contain the water feature as the other provides an extensive vegetation life. The sequence of the space from north to south allows for the partisan to experience the series between water and vegetation. The focal point is the 125-foot campanile. At the base of the tower, water flows from an aqueduct into a large, pebble-covered circular pool that dominates the southern plaza2.

Figure 4.35 Legorreta Sketch

Figure 4.36 Pershing Square

In the middle of downtown Los Angeles, this square was to serve the citizens of this city with a place that created comfort and peace with the soothing architectural elements that Legoretta provided. 1 John V. Mutlow, ed. Ricardo Legorreta Architects. (New York: Rizzoli, 1997).



context_architectural precedent

Figure 4.37 Legorreta Square Sketch

80 contextual research Pershing Square

4.38 Legorreta Square Sketch

4.40 Pershing Square Vegetation side

4.39 Site Plan

4.41 Pershing Plaza

context_architectural precedent contd.

81 contextual research

Dean, Andrea O. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.â&#x20AC;? Architectural Record July 2005: 112-119. Mutlow, John V., ed. Ricardo Legorreta Architects. New York: Rizzoli, 1997.




83 design response

Abstraction of Central America The map of central america is set up of seven countries which include: Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. The conceptual idea at the beginning of the design process was to incorporate an abstraction of the map . The countries were abstracted through the geometry of the actual country which would then be connected with the capitals of each country through linear elements. The process tried to configure possible spaces from the abstraction for the CACC building. Diagram 5.1 Map of Central America

Drawing 5.2 Scheme 1 Abstraction

Drawing 5.3 Scheme 2 Abstraction

early stage concepts

Drawing 5.4 Scheme 3 Abstraction

84 design response

Figure 5.5 Conceptual Scheme 1

schematic review

85 design response

Figure 5.6 Conceptual Scheme 2

schematic review contd.

86 design response

Figure 5.7 Conceptual Scheme 3

schematic review contd.

87 design response

Review Analysis Concept Formulation Relating to Thesis

Very thorough geometric explanation Concept does follow through all three schemes

Composition and Ordering of Design Elements

Created some circulation difficulties with galleries Components of center do not respond to the shape of floor plan

Schematic Design of Site

Site was not considered in this review Consider excavating down into site

Graphic Communication and Exploration

Thorough exploration of design, but need more graphic representation


Massing Form



schematic review design comments

88 design response

Implementing the Traditional Elements After comments from the schematic and preliminary review, the concept of implementing the culture and traditional elements were not strongly emphasized throughout the design. In the qualifying review, I took efforts to provide elements such as porticos, arches, a plaza, and the transformation of an interior courtyard to an exterior courtyard. The courtyard is a vital element in all of latin architecture whether it is a home or public entity. In this review I did not focus on color as it is a experimental solution in which any color could be placed on the facades. With the addition of these elements, the culture has been defined and the main concern would then be the circulation throughout the building. Figure 5.8 Qualifying Review Plaza Approach

Figure 5.9 Qualifying Review Courtyard

qualifying review renderings

Figure 5.10 Qualifying Review Gallery step-down

89 design response

Review Analysis Concept Formulation Relating to Thesis

Good attempt to connect through courtyard Enhance the experience that characterizes the culture

Composition and Ordering of Design Elements

Reconsider location of circulation Establish a greater sense of hierarchy

qualifying review comments

90 design response

Design Approach The experience throughout the design has let me understand the importance of expressing a distinctive culture through architectural elements. My design approach has considered most of the traditional elements that this culture has to offer and certain contemporary measures to accentuate my theoretical basis. As I started with my parti-diagram I recognized the formal element of progression through the site and building. In many Latin countries progression is vital to the implementation of a public space and leading into a significant building. My parti-diagram express the progression through the main plaza designated to hold festivites and a place for users to experience the sapce. The plaza is accompanied by a restaurant and vendor spaces that compliment the traditional element of a portico along the facades. The progressions leads to the main entrance of the building which is greeted by color and glass to contemporize the facade as you enter into the main lobby. The main lobby of the Central American Cultural Center acts as an access point to the main country galleries to the users left and right while being welcomed by the reception desk. The lobby is grand as it tries to express the culture with the portico, arches, color, and country flags. The galleries are key in the design to accomodate the culture within. Each gallery is typical in expressing the name, emblem, and colors, of the country flag. This idea is to generate the users vision that they are in a specific country. The gallery contains sufficient and strategically placed walls to showcase the arts and artifacts of the particular country. Circulation was a main issue through the design process and I wanted to make sure the progression was also a journey and great experience for the user. The main corridors that lead the user throughout the building is located between the country galleries and exterior central courtyard. The user experiences the interior galleries and can look out to or access the courtyard. The central courtyard itself contains a progression as the courtyard terraces down into the sub-level from the South and North end of the space. Along with the galleries is a theatre to showcase performing arts relative to the Central-American Culture. The theatre is accessible from the main circulation leading to the theatre sun lit vestibule and into the space itself. The design was skillyfully handled to express the culture and invite all users to experience what the Central-American Culture has to offer.

final presentation

91 design response

Sketch 5.11 Parti Diagram

Sketch 5.12 Space Articulation

final presentation conceptual sketches

Sketch 5.13 Space Articulation

92 design response

Sketch 5.14 Axial Articulation

Sketch 5.15 Axial/ Space Articulation

Sketch 5.16 Conceptual Plan

final presentation conceptual sketches contd.

93 design response

final presentation site plan

94 design response

final presentation sub-level plan

95 design response

final presentation ground level plan

96 design response

final presentation second level plan

97 design response

final presentation elevations A/B

98 design response

final presentation elevations C/D/E/F

99 design response

final presentation sections 1A/ 1B

100 design response

Drawing 5.17 Wall Sections

final presentation wall sections

101 design response

CACC Wall Paneling Parts of the building will be constructed of either terracotta or aluminum paneling. This diagram represents the layout and construction of the wall paneling proposed for the Central American Cultural Center. Typically panels are placed and slid across horizontal rails to allow quick installation and work as a weather-resistant barrier to combat water penetration.

Diagram 5.18 Wall Configuration

final presentation wall diagram

102 design response

final presentation building fly-over

103 design response

CACC Main Plaza This perspective accentuates the space of a plaza for the users and community to celebrate and enjoy the scenery of this distinctive culture. Flags of the Central American countries greet the space as you approach the main plaza. The space is enclosed by a restaurant and vendors that will promote the culture of Central America. Plazas are vital elements in the traditional culture of Latin American countries as they value the space as a place to convene.

Figure 5.19 CACC Main Plaza

final presentation_renderings

104 design response

CACC Main Lobby The lobby is a central access point to the plan of the building. You are greeted by a decadent reception desk showcasing the map of Central America. It is a first glimpse of what the Cultural Center has to offer. This space is grand with color, windows, a water element, and beams. The user may take a left and head down the staircase leading down to the lower level country galleries. To the visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right begins the ground level permanent and temporary galleries.

Figure 5.20 CACC Main Lobby

final presentation_renderings

105 design response

CACC El Salvador Cultural Gallery This is a realistic representation approach to a typical gallery for each of the seven country galleries proposed for the cultural center. The gallery space is to provide sufficient wall space to accomodate paintings, artifacts, and artwork. The gallery also provides seating strategically planned to work with traffic and viewing of the arts. Each gallery is highlighted by a wall dedicated to the name of the country and its emblem. Certain walls are designated to highlight the colors of the flag, an idea to allow the user to understand what country they are in. Paintings, artifacts, and artwork, are accompanied by sufficient track lighting readily adjustable.

Figure 5.21 CACC Country Gallery

final presentation_renderings

106 design response

CACC Central Courtyard The central courtyard is the central element to the building as a whole. The main circulation for the building is configured around this courtyard for the guests to experience both the interior and exterior of the building. A linear and contemporary element is added and placed at the center of the courtyard to drive users to this space. The courtyard is essential to all house and public spaces of the latin culture.

Figure 5.22 CACC Terraced Courtyard

final presentation_renderings

107 design response

CACC Central Courtyard Terraces are built down into the site to allow an experience for the users of the center from all directions of the community. Each terrace contains landscaping to compliment and revive the space. In this view you can see the different levels that play into the whole design of the building. The courtyards is accessible from the sub and ground levels. The theatre is shown at the highest point while the second level to your right depicts the classrooms provided by the center which looks down at the courtyard.

Figure 5.23 CACC Central Courtyard

final presentation_renderings

108 design response

Figure 5.24 Physical Model Overall Building

Figure 5.26 Physical Model Central Courtyard Figure 5.25 Physical Model Linear Element towards courtyard

final presentation_physical model

109 design response

Figure 5.27 Physical Model Overall Building looking Northeast

Figure 5.28 Physical Model Overall Building looking Northwest

final presentation_physical model contd.

110 design response

Review Analysis Concept Formulation Relating to Thesis

Concept was strongly expressed Culture is well captured

Composition and Ordering of Design Elements

Circulation in building and courtyard work well Site Circulation still needs work with relation to parking Composition of building and courtyard is skillfully handled

Ability to Represent the Synthesis of Design

Perspectives are excellent and capture the culture well Country gallery also expresses the culture well

final presentation comments

Martin Aguirre Architectural Thesis: Central American Cultural Center-Dallas, Texas  

Master Design Studio Architectural Thesis: Central American Cultural Center-An integration of a Culture through Contemporary Methods